Review – the bye week has come and gone, and somehow Damarious Randall injured his groin and is QUESTIONABLE for Sunday night. The good news is Clay Matthews and Morgan Burnett are returning and hopefully that’ll help the communication in the defensive backfield and apply more pressure up front. The Giants were out-manned by the Vikings last Monday night and the lead story stemming from that game is New York’s star wide out, Odell Beckham Jr. I’m sure you’ve seen his sideline antics over the last few weeks and even dating back to last year’s matchup v (then Carolina CB) Josh Norman. Regardless of his spoiled bratness, #13 can play and wreak havoc on Green Bay’s secondary.
Preview – let’s take a look at the numbers and rankings for this match up on Sunday Night Football, shall we?
(GB Off v NY Def) The Packers offense is ranked 29th overall in yards/game…yep, 29th. Somehow they’re off to a worse start than their finished last season. The Packers and Aaron Rodgers possess the 29th ranked passing offense and 16th rushing offense. They welcome in a Giants defense which ranks 18th v the pass and 9th against the run, while possessing the 11th overall defense. This matchup favors New York, just based on numbers, but with such a small sample size and so many unknown factors, let’s take a look at the other side of the ball.
(GB Def v NY Off) Green Bay holds the 13th overall defense (29th v the pass and 1st (by a wide margin) against the rush) while the Giants are ranked 6th overall in offense (4th pass/19th rush). This matchup would favor NY again, but let’s take a look as to why the Packers can, should, and likely will win this game. While the Packers haven’t been “right” since the divisional round playoff game v Dallas in Jan. 2015, Green Bay has managed to win 6 of their last 9 home games while building up – what looks to be – a great run defense. The Giants can score and have playmakers at the wide receiver position, but if Nick Perry and Mike Daniels keep playing at the level they have been since the postseason last year, that should prove difficult for Eli Manning to tear them apart.
The pessimist in me focuses on how this offense vanished in the 2nd half v a bad Detroit team and a player I have high hopes for (Randall) has had an Ahmad Carroll-like season so far. The optimist in me sees that this team is playing playoff football, successfully. Rules #1A and 1B, run the ball and stop the run. The Packers have shown the ability to run the football when they so choose, even though Lacy should drop another 20-30lbs his vision is spectacular, and the Packers are giving up just over 40 yards/game. If this trend continues, and the passing offense can return close to 2014 form, this team very well could be on its way…but the realist in me needs to see it grow and improve over the next 13 games.